I just took in some cold water into my system after some house chores I did and while it was going down my throat to my stomach I literally made a soft moan from the pleasure I derived from my thirst being quenched. But just before I could enjoy another gulp my mind took me back to few days before where I had issues with the water supply in my home and electricity was also epileptic. I remember the frustration of having to conserve the very little we had at home, having to manage water in a family of four covering washing of dishes, flushing the toilet, mopping the floors, bathing, brushing etc.
When you have also raised children with basic hygiene education , they get confused when you now tell them off for not using water as conservatively as you hoped. One uses the bathroom then flushes, the other goes after 10 minutes does same and flushes, Mama screams because in her mind why wouldn’t both of them use the bathroom at the same time and then just do a flush. But hey ! when children gotta go, they gotta go!!!
I remember the stench that came out of the bathroom when the very last bit of water finished and before another fresh supply arrived, one of them had done a number 2, my goodness, I was so upset, not at the one who experienced a normal bodily discharge but upset at the situation.
I remember even feeling grateful for the little I had because when I thought about hundreds of communities in Nigeria not having access to clean and clear water, I was thankful. Yet in my gratitude, I also wondered why we have leaders who do nothing about the plight of the people. I kept saying to myself , how is it possible that I would have funds to bring succor to a community and instead I would divert it for personal gain? Or simply look the other side and focus on things that aren’t my responsibility. How???
I started to feel the surge of anger rise inside of me and I was taken back to my present reality of drinking my cold water. The water didn’t feel so good any more. How can I enjoy this while others drink rain water, or puddles of water gathered from an eroded ground while they use alum to purify it, water gotten from hours and hours of walk to streams or rivers and guess who are sent? Women and the girl child because they seem to have the strength to carry hardship and are indispensable and don’t need an education or the girl child can go late to school and she will catch up, if she doesn’t catch up oh well! She is a girl, she doesn’t matter that much (I am being purposely sarcastic). From their hours of walk especially in the early hours of the morning they are often raped by other men and yet they still bring back water , no protection is given to them , she is made not to talk about it for it would bring her shame and the cycle continues….
I then imagine how it must be difficult for a young girl who has just come into puberty and experiencing her menstrual flow for the first time, and the desired need for her to want to have a bath and clean herself but I am certain priority isn’t given to her. Water isn’t enough! As a woman , I know how precious water is during our cycle. This is something that is natural and part of what makes us women which we can’t do anything about and so we deserve to have the ‘water’ care for hygienic purposes.
I thought about a lot and all I tried to focus on as I walked away was HOW CAN WE BREAK THE CYCLE ?
I dropped the cup of water, picked up my tablet and wrote this straight from my heart.
Prayer: Lord, raise saviors who have your heart and a heart for people to be empowered to serve their community and do so with all humility. Amen